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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Marveling at the “Great Ziggurat of Ur”

The Great Ziggurat of Ur is one of the most recognizable monuments in the history of Mesopotamia, as well as the world. To this day, the iconic step pyramid, with its 4,000+-year-old original foundations still intact, supporting relatively recent restorations, can be visited at Tell al-Mukayyar, near the modern-day Iraqi city of Nasiriyah, just a little over 200 miles south of Baghdad.

The Ziggurat of Ur was originally built in 2100 BC, by King Ur-Nammu, who dedicated it to the moon god Nanna, Ur’s patron deity. The structure’s measurements, consisting of mud brick, baked brick and bitumen to hold it together, are 210 ft. (64 m.) in length, 150 ft. (46 m.) in width, and its height is speculated to have been over 100 ft. (30 m.).

By the 6th century BC, the Ziggurat had crumbled, and King Nabonidus, the last king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, took it upon himself to order the restoration of the great shrine.

Thank you, King Nabonidus! The Ziggurat of Ur has seen much since it was built thousands of years ago, including the recent wars in Iraq, which did damage it some, but the iconic structure still towers over the land where it stands today.

Now, let’s marvel at this iconic piece of history through the years, with pictures, from the early 19th century AD, when it was first described, to the present day.

The 1850’s

The 1920’s

The 1960’s

The 1970’s

The 1980’s

The 2000’s

(Did you notice that there are no pictures dating from the 40’s, 50’s or 90’s? None seem to exist, unless we missed them. If you know where we can find any from those decades, please let us know as we’d love to include them!)

*Update: We originally had a picture from the 1930s, but the link is dead, so we took it out, as we could not find any other from that time we can attribute or be sure is from that decade.

Further reading:

http://smarthistory.khanacademy.org/ziggurat-of-ur.html

http://amazeingart.com/seven-wonders/ziggurat.html

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2012 in Sumerian, Ur

 

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How to be Mesopotamian this Halloween

We’re barely halfway through with September, but Halloween is just around the corner, especially if you want it to be a special one crowned with an unforgettably original costume.

So, for the Ancient Mesopotamian at heart, we’ve gathered the best costume ideas to help make this Halloween as Mesopotamian as can be!

The Assyrian Crocheter

Let’s begin with this crocheted Assyrian Helmet and Beard. This can be a part of a whole costume, or just a standalone piece that will surely turn heads this Halloween. You can either download the free crochet pattern, or just buy the ready piece from Etsy.

Cool, no?

The Creative Babylonian

Next, we have four choices for the specifically Babylonian at heart, especially those looking for a Halloween challenge. Unfortunately, there are no instructions for how to make these, they’re just pictures you’ll have to scroll down a page a bit to see at the source, but if you are a creative type, these are ideas. There is nothing like making your own costume from scratch!

“The costume of the late Babylonian monarch, Marduk-Nadin-Akhe (ca. 1050 B.C.).”

“A Babylonian dress common since the third dynasty of Ur (ca. 2050-1950 B.C.).”

“A dress of a goddess of the old Babylonian period (ca. 1950-1530 B.C.).”

“A Babylonian dress (2nd. Millenium B.C.).”

The Luxurious Babylonian

If you’re not that creative a type, and find the above pictures intimidating, but still want to wear that Babylonian heart on your sleeve, it’s okay. You can order a custom-made, traditional and historically accurate Assyrian-Babylonian dress from this site! Here is a photo of one such custom creation:

Historically accurate traditional Assyrian-Babylonian dress.

Here is how awesome you’ll look from head to toe:

Be the Ashurbanipal of the party! (Don’t hurt any cats, though. That’s not cool.)

The Dancing Queen

Take Back Halloween is a great website that offers tips on dressing like some of the most important historical figures, including Queen Puabi. It provides suggestions and instructions to help you recreate Puabi’s look using everyday clothes and accessories. Be the dancing queen at this year’s Halloween party!

Who wouldn’t want to make an entrance as this blinged out lady of high society?

The Literary High Priestess

Another fantastic and elegant lady you can channel this Halloween, courtesy of the wonderful Take Back Halloween website, is Enheduanna, the world’s first-known author, and a high priestess.

The Goddess

Want to be worshiped at next Hallow’s Eve? Go as Semiramis, or Shammuramat. Kind of an elusive figure, portrayed as a goddess and queen in some texts, a whore in others, but one thing’s for sure–you’ll look elegant and hot in a flowing goddess robe put together on Polyvore.

Gown

Make an elegant goddess’s entrance. (Rest of suggestions on Polyvore.com)

 

The Sophisticated Fashionista

You can simply evoke a Sumerian look with your creative fashionista self!

The Sumerian look. You’ll look like you stepped right out of 600 BC “Vogue”.

The Perfectionist

Still haven’t found what you’re looking for? Here are some vintage posters with drawings of traditional Mesopotamian wear and accessories. Sometimes if you want something done right, you just gotta do it yourself!

Feminine costume ideas.

Assyrian costumes for women.

More Assyrian costumes for women.

Assyrian costumes for men.

Assyrian hats and accessories. (Go to link for more)

So, we hope we’ve provided you with good info to get you started on your Mesopotamian Halloween costume. We’d love to see what you end up doing, so let us know in the comments, or tweet us at @allmesopotamia. Happy Halloween!

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in Art, Holidays

 

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